Local News

Chatham OKs old raises for county workers

Posted December 14, 2010 9:54 a.m. EST
Updated December 14, 2010 10:01 a.m. EST

— The Chatham County Board of Commissioners on Monday approved paying county employees the raises they earned two years ago but had to forgo because of budget cuts.

The raises will be paid out as lump-sum 2 percent bonuses this month, costing the county $312,119, officials said.

“We felt that this was a contractual obligation that should be met,” board Chairman Brian Bock said in a statement. “County employees who met their targeted performance levels deserve to receive what they earned by contract."

The bonuses will be paid out of a reserve fund and won't affect the county budget, officials said.

Some employees might earn more than 2 percent if their supervisors determine that they exceeded the requirements of their pay-for-performance plan, officials said. That money would be paid as a one-time bonus before the end of March 2011, and officials said that extra money wouldn't exceed $86,362.

“Providing bonuses instead of salary increases is not the ideal option, but it represents a compromise to provide some relief to county employees for the work they successfully completed two years ago," Bock said.

The county hasn't had pay-for-performance plans for county workers since the 2008-09 fiscal year because of tight budgets, officials said.

Also Monday, the commissioners voted to go along with a state law giving developers an extra year to meet the conditions of zoning and environmental permits. The move reversed a decision made by the previous board.

"Anything that may stand in the way of fair and proper commercial and residential development, especially in our current economic climate, is disconcerting," Joe Glasson, chairman of the Chatham County Economic Development Corp., said in a statement. "Many developers stand ready to put into place their previously approved plans, but the current primary barrier to good quality economic development financing is that the credit market has been virtually non-existent.”